We all assumed it. But now there’s data to back up our hunches. Ticketfly commissioned Harris Poll to survey concert-going adults to find out how much they use their phones at shows.
Some of the biggest findings show that 31% of adults ages 18-34 use their phones during half of the show or more. Yikes. No amount of pyrotechnics can pull these hipster eyes away from the tiny screen. Dudes! There are performers literally feet from you pouring their hearts out for your entertainment for which you paid money to see… and you’re diffusing this experience by starring at it through a mini piece of glass? Ah well, I’m a purist who ain’t going to change this trend. So what can we do? What are the actual numbers?
40% of female Millennials use their phones to take pictures compared to 24% of males. And Females are more likely to share the event to social media. But only single people. Only 9% of married adults share their experiences over social media. Everything we do in this world is just some complicated mating ritual, clearly.
More interesting stats from the study reveal that 23% use their phones to look up information about the artists. More than 60% are interested in getting mobile notifications about merch offers, food, beverage and VIP access during an event and over 71% of males and 61% of females are interested in using their phone to purchase these things. Not to mention most want to use their phone as their ticket to get in (70%)
We’re failing as an industry.
How have we not figured out how to capitalize on this yet? Okay, the data is now out. There doesn’t need to be any more guessing. Millennials WANT to buy with their phones. And would definitely buy MORE if it was easier to do so.
BandPage, WeDemand, BandsInTown, SongKick, AtVenu, Shazam, Spotify, well, and Ticketfly I suppose if you want to get into this space. I’m looking at you. On your app, for everyone who bought tickets to an event, send out a push notification when they’re inside the venue (GPS tagging) for discounts on merch and VIP access. Maybe the first 500 people who enter the venue get thrown into a raffle to win VIP meet and greet passes pre-show. And all notifications for the contest happen on the phone! Give the tour manager access to these notifications to be able to send out creative ways for fans to interact with the band during the show: “Ryan is about to climb the speakers. Take a photo and hashtag #MonkeyRyan” then the TM could throw up the photos in real time onto the screen. Or before the show send a notification “Guess the first song we’re playing. Everyone who gets this right will get a free signed poster at the merch booth after the show.”
Or better yet, send out a push notification that enables fans to buy merch and meet-and-greets while inside the venue! Say, you’re with a group of 9 new best friends who you just met. A push notification gets sent out by the TM that says “Hang out with the band in the green room before the show, get signed screen prints, a beer, and hear a new song they want to test out. Grab this offer for $50. Only 10 spots available!” Allow fans to buy any number up to 10. And allow some Uber-style price-sharing with friends. You could rally your 9 new friends to go in on this with you, or, if you’re loaded, be their new best friend by treating everyone to some serious VIP access. Boom, the band just made a quick $500 and the fans just got an experience of a lifetime for acting quick. Of course word would spread about this and the app’s numbers would skyrocket. The artists should get this data (all fans who bought tickets to the show, actually showed up, participated in the venue contests, bought merch and shared to social media). Give the artists the data! Don’t pull a Facebook.
BandPage just teamed up with StubHub to offer these kinds of VIP meet and greets, and merch when purchasing the ticket, but the buzz is INSIDE the venue.
And especially after the show. It’s been proven that people are much more likely to buy after a concert than anywhere or anytime else. It’s the euphoria. The heightened collective energy of everyone in the room. People want this feeling to continue and are much more willing to part ways with their cash inside the venue than when they get home. If you don’t get your sale inside the venue, you won’t get that sale.
The moment the concert finishes everyone should get a 20% off merch coupon sent via push notification. And fans should be able to browse and buy right from their phones and then waltz on up to the “Phone Orders Only” line to quickly pick up their merch. Boom! You need a ninja of a merch master to keep the inventory updated in real time. AtVenu and Merch Cat do this. So maybe they need to integrate with BandsInTown. BandPage already has merch, experiences, VIP offers for sale with inventory tracking, but they don’t have a responsive app to integrate this kind of live functionality.
Somebody get on this!
The fact that in 2015 the merch buying experience is virtually unchanged from the 1975 experience is pathetic. Oh, we can now swipe credit cards? Sweeet.
AtVenu and Merch Cat are going to lead the way in the merch table front, but who is going to lead the way with this enhanced concert going experience?
How many times have you been to a show and wanted to buy some merch but the line was too long? Or no one was manning the table when you needed to leave? Missed sales!
The Nielsen 2013 study revealed that music fans would spend up to $2.6 BILLION more a year if they had opportunities to buy exclusives and behind-the-scenes content.
We’re failing as an industry. Us musicians can only do so much on this front. We need to work WITH tech on these opportunities and possibilities. Yes, streaming royalties for artists (not labels) need to increase. Yes, the laws need to change to properly compensate songwriters. Yes the consent decrees need to be updated. Blah blah blah. But, that’s such a tiny part of the bigger picture. When we’re looking at the modern artist’s career, we need to look at all revenue streams and all possibilities. Recorded music is one avenue. Ticket sales is another. But let’s explore all these new revenue (and engagement) possibilities in the mobile space. We haven’t even scratched the surface.
Photo by Don Debold from Flickr And used with the Creative Commons License